I feel that before I go into this article, a certain preface is required to save myself from the inevitable aggression that I’m likely to receive from certain friends and family members from what I’m about the discuss.  This is because I’m a Leeds United fan in the English Football League.  Our biggest rival is Manchester United and, though I’m about to give praise to my rival club, please understand that I’m doing it through gritted teeth.

For the past few years, LinkedIn has been awash with memes, articles and quotes that have pitted managers and leaders against each other.  In a nutshell, each one has had a devil and angel approach to the qualities of being a leader as opposed to being a manager.

Leading against the grain

I’m neither for nor against either method but I do feel that the manager is being a bit hard done to so I wanted to throw out a couple of counter arguments to help balance out the scales and maybe find a bit of grey between the black and white.

Have you seen Whiplash?  It’s my favorite movie of 2014 and I’d probably go as far as to say it eclipses the movies I watched in 2015 as well.  Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons, says “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job“.  He also talks about the famous story of Charlie Parker who has been labelled the ‘JS Bach of Jazz’.  When Charlie Parker was 16, Jo Jones infamously threw a cymbal at him when Charlie lost the beat during a live performance and was subsequently laughed off stage.  The whole premise of the movie is focused around the notion that being laughed at, criticized, threatened doesn’t deter true leaders, it inspires them.

Sorry to all my fellow Leeds fans but let’s look at Sir Alex Ferguson who is widely considered one of the most successful football MANAGERS of all time.  Accredited with 13 English Premier League wins, 5 FA Cup wins, 4 League Cup wins, 2 UEFA Champions League wins, Manager of the Decade, 11 EPL Manager of the Season awards. 27 EPL Manager of the Month awards and many, many more.  He is also accredited with his own style of dressing room ‘Leadership’, the hairdryer treatment.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Balon D’Or holder, openly talks about Fergie’s temper in the dressing room.  How he would rant, rave, scream and, apparently, kick every inanimate object that crossed his path when he was unhappy with the performance.  Yet, Ronaldo also considers Fergie as his football father and the man that guided him to become the best footballer on the planet.  By all accounts Fergie wasn’t even a good footballer, so he certainly couldn’t show the way which already goes against one of the leadership traits.  His players also feared being on the receiving this treatment and, according to player testimonials, some players certainly couldn’t handle it.  Yet, since he left, Manchester United have not won a single trophy.

I’m not saying that ranting and raving at your team is a good habit to have.  Nor is the notion of managing through fear alone.  However, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, we all need to be shouted at, criticized, threatened and maybe even fired on occasion.  Sometimes it’s the only way we truly know that our actions in that moment are simply not doing justice to your employer, your family, your team and the most importantly, yourself. more tips can be found at https://likealeader.net/

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